Ernest Ralph Gorse's heartlessness and lack of scruple are matched only by the inventiveness and panache with which he swindles his victims.
With great deftness and precision Hamilton exposes how his dupes' own naivete, snobbery or greed make them perfect targets.
These three novels are shot through with the brooding menace and sense of bleak inevitability so characteristic of the author.
There is also vivid satire and caustic humour. Gorse is thought to be based on the real-life murderer Neville Heath, hanged in 1946.